2021 Playback

2021 playback

I’m not really sure how to describe my 2021, tiring, exciting and stressful maybe? Like 2020, 2021 was still full of uncertainties and anxieties, but hopefully we’re seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

Nothing much happened in 2021 because we’re still WFH and there’s still lockdown every now and then, depending on the number of cases. But unlike 2020, the year 2021 somehow gave us a sense of normalcy because there’s more mobility, especially during the last quarter of the year.

Anyway, as my annual tradition since 2013, here’s a quick replay of my 2021!



Siargao. I’ve been meaning to visit Siargao for so long but tried to avoid the island as it was packed with so many tourists. But for 2021 and on my birthday month, we finally got to visit this tropical paradise in Mindanao and instantly fell in love with it and their food. I think next to Batanes, Siargao is one of my favorite places in the Philippines. Because of the pandemic, there was obviously less tourists when we visited the island.

Sadly, before 2021 ended, Siargao was badly hit by typhoon Odette and left the island completely devastated. A far cry from the usual paradise we always see in photos and videos. 🙁 Siargao Island was even hailed as one of the ‘World’s Greatest Places in 2021’, and now this. 🙁

I hope the island and the Siargaonons will recover very soon, as well as the other provinces that were affected by the recent typhoon.

northern siargao
Guyam Island
Subic. Traveling with friends, especially if they’re as crazy as you are is really fun. This quick escape to Subic was worth it. So many things happened during our trip but we really couldn’t care less. Hahaha. There was never a dull a moment when we were inside the “Bahay ni Kuya” and even during the roadtrip. Hahaha! Hoping for a repeat soon.

Nest by the sea

La Union. Last hurrah before starting something new. Got to experience again San Juan, La Union’s breathtaking sunset, and of course their famous El Union Coffee.

Wasn’t able to try surfing though because as you can see, December waves are not friendly for beginners like me. Hahaha!

san juan beach la union
La Union Sunset


Told myself that I will get another tat as soon as the pandemic is over as a simple remembrance for surviving this health crisis, however, I think this pandemic will last longer than expected so I just decided to have the tat as soon as I get fully vaccinated. And where else to get a new tattoo but in Siargao! Of course my next tattoo should be special and meaningful as well.

Rad Tattoo siargao
I only plan to get one tattoo, a lighthouse with Batanes coordinates (my happy place), but figured it would look better if I put the coordinates at the back of my arm instead and the lighthouse in my biceps, so technically, I had two tattoos done at Rad Tattoo Siargao. Both my tats were done by Oey.

lighthouse tattoo
Batanes coordinates tattoo

Learned to cook. I first tried cooking Kimchi Rice in 2020 but really started cooking other dishes, especially my favorite Sinigang, in 2021. Sometimes being stuck at home, condo to be specific, and being lazy to go down the lobby, has its advantage. I was forced to cook. Hahaha!

Getting out of my comfort zone. After more than 12 years in the senate, I finally decided to move on and explore something new to expand my horizons. Will definitely miss the adrenaline rush that I was so used to, but some good things never really last. Who knows, maybe I’ll be back soon. I just really need to breath.

senate of the philippines

Let’s now review my 2021 Blueprint and see if I was able to accomplish anything

  • Learn how to drive. Haven’t enrolled in any driving school yet,  just the usual practice driving only where there are less vehicles. Hahaha!
  • Travel. Subic, Siargao, La Union. No international travels for now
  • Fix some parts of my house in Laguna. Had my dirty kitchen fixed because of the rusted gutter due to the January 2020 ash fall.
  • Finish at least 2-3 travel guides. Ummm…I was so busy that I was only able to finish my Seoul Travel Guide. Hoping to finish at least 1 or 2 this coming year. Hopefully!!!



  • Learn how to drive. Will forever aim for this one. Hahaha!
  • Pay out my car loan. Hopefully!
  • Read more books. I hope I have more time this year to finish my books
  • More travel guides. I’m sooo way behind already


Thank you 2021, next please!

2022 year of the tiger